Miamiflute's Blog

My Secret Crush on Jim Frankel

Posted on: February 16, 2011

As my 3 year old, Matilda, would say, “I have a secret to tell you.”  I have a serious crush on James Frankel.

Any of you who are reading this, probably already know Jim Frankel. If you don’t know Jim, he’s the Managing Director of Soundtree, author of several books and articles on music education and technology, adjunct professor at Columbia Teachers College, the President of the Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI), the former VP of TI:ME, a past middle-school music teacher, and overall music technology bad-ass. He is everything I admire and respect in my field, rolled up into a very likable 6 foot ball. Because I’m in higher education and fairly entrenched in the conference circuit, I see Jim a few times a year. When I was teaching in Florida, I used to direct my music education undergraduates to all of his sessions. They would always come back beaming and telling me “Dr. K, OMG, he is so cool. Did you know…..”  Yes, actually – I DO know, that’s why I sent you there. So I guess I am also the founder of the Jim Frankel Fan Club, too.

So, why on earth am I telling you this??

Well, because before the days of Twitter Jim Frankel would probably have little to no clue who I am. He’s a nice guy, so I’m sure that he would smile and wave when I go by the Soundtree booth to play with all the new music tech toys. He’d probably also say to himself, “Who is that bizarre woman who comes to the booth at every conference?” But, thanks to Twitter and many other social media, the fields of music technology and music education have been democratized.

According to some information compiled by Kathy Schrock :

  • 26 million people in the US use Twitter.
  • Almost 70% of educators had a Twitter account
  • 87% of responding educators use it to network, keep up and share with the profession.
  • Sadly, 40% of the respondent who do NOT use Twitter reported that they didn’t know how to use it.

Thanks to the Twitterverse, I can now interact with many highly respected professionals in music education on Twitter – including Jim Frankel! Really? No longer was there a situation where one of us was on stage giving a presentation and the other was in the audience; no longer was one person the merchandiser and the other the consumer. We are now both Tweeter: I tweet – he retweets; he tweets – I respond. We both discuss #musiced, and #musictech.

The first time I realized the power of Twitter was September 2009. I was on the 50 yard line in LandShark Stadium dancing for a halftime show for the Miami Dolphins. We were all there because we thought Jimmy was going to play – he didn’t. I felt lame, and let him know.

Later that night, I did receive a tweet back from Jimmy’s camp. He heard me? I had an equal voice? Cool.

Now there are many ways to use Twitter for professional reasons, it is part of my everyday lifestyle. I can control give me most relevant, up-to-date information on a topic of my choosing. My mother was in Hawai’i in February 2010 when – according to NBC – a giant tsunami was coming to decimate the island. According to the Twitterverse – unfiltered and on the ground – it was a beautiful day and the locals enjoyed watching the networks make something out of nothing. It made me feel much better about not being able to get a hold of my mom personally. So, how can you use it effectively? Here are some tips:

  1. Sign-up and start following some great people. You can check out Dr. Joe Pisano’s music education Twitter list.
  2. Spend about 2 minutes to learn the lingo.
  3. Follow hashtags about stuff that is important to you. For example, you can find information regarding #tsunami10 without having to follow individuals. #musiced #musedchat #mpln #edchat are all tags that I follow daily, just in case there is something that my didn’t get tweeted by my peeps.
  4. Engage – or not. You can just read tweets in your field, or you can participate as much as you like. There have been many Tweetups of people who know each other primarily through Twitter when they are together at conferences. It is really nice to finally get to talk face to face with people that you feel you have known for some time.
  5. There are about a zillion ways to engage in twitter with your colleagues. See the resource from Kathy Schrock (and thanks to Bill Bauer’s article in December 2010 Music Educator’s Journal for this)
  6. And finally — have some fun. You will get to know your tweeps and will be able to engage in meaningful dialog with them. Sometimes, it’s fun to banter and communicate with your colleagues from across the state, country, and world. Most of them will have a sense of humor, too….as I hope does Jim Frankel.

Coda: Here are some other blog topics I’m currently considering:

  • Joe Pisano and I are distant, long-lost cousins (hey, I have family in PA, it could happen).
  • My plan to officially adopt Andy Zweibel.
  • My new venture: The Functional Business of Music Babes (The F-BOMBs) with Barbara Freedman.

4 Responses to "My Secret Crush on Jim Frankel"

Nice…! I do have a LOT of family…. I’ll invite you up to a reunion and we can figure it all out! 🙂

Hi Kathy. Excellent post. I’m sure there are many others who share your crush 🙂 I’ve listened to Jim’s podcasts for a couple of years now. When I started using Twitter I followed him and was floored when he followed me back. Now I’ve engaged him to speak at a music tech conference we’re running here in Australia (thanks for agreeing to come Jim!) and in addition to our Twitter and email conversations we’ve finally spoken in person on Skype. Twitter truly breaks down barriers.

[…] hide YouTube comments in order to make YouTube videos more appropriate to share in the classroom. My Secret Crush on Jim Frankel by Kathleen Kerstetter Ever wonder how to make significant connections with music educators […]

What a great post! Hilarious and informative! And really, who doesn’t have a crush on Jim Frankel and/or want to adopt Andy Zweibel? Andy’s session at TI:ME 2011 is what finally got me blogging and tweeting. Thanks, Kathy for the great post!

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